Posted by News Express | 23 January 2016 | 2,308 times
The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya, has dismissed reports in two US-based news portals alleging the remittance of N325 million to the House by council chairmen in the state.
Speaking in Asaba while receiving the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Award of Excellence in Legislative Competence and Exceptional Leadership, Igbuya said: “Some days ago, I read a report in The Will and Saharareporters on the remittance of N325million by council chairmen. You don’t make allegations that are unfounded. Because of paucity of fund in the state, the allocation to councils has dropped drastically. Some local government areas are in arrears of salaries to their staff. Some of them do not have three million as allocation, let alone raising N3million for the House of Assembly. In fact, my local government council got N2.7 million as allocation. So, how can a council that got N2.7 million pay N3million? Where will the chairman get the money? Some got zero allocation. Most local governments are currently indebted to the federal government.”
The Speaker observed that the relevant agencies or the operators of these agencies, particularly the Local Government Chairmen, the Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs or the House Committee Chairmen on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, were not reached as to ascertain the veracity of the information.
“These are public figures whose offices and telephone numbers are in the public domain. A little, just a little sincere effort on the part of the publishers would have revealed the true position of things. They did not explore the necessary avenues to verify their twisted facts,” he said.
Igbuya advised journalists to always verify their facts. His words: “Before publishing or airing any story, please verify your facts. I am open to investigation. Don’t write frivolous and unfounded stories. Always verify your information. Journalists should not believe in hearsay. Somebody wants to resign, or he is threatening to resign, the journalists should confirm the story. He should be able to reach the person. I think that is what you call balance reporting.
“As professionals, you must ensure that quacks are not given room to destroy the practice of journalism and bring your profession into disrepute in the state;” he advised
“I started as a councilor; I didn’t jump to become Speaker. Some persons started from the top. I started from the bottom. It took me a lot of time to get to where I am and I will not tolerate any person who tries to drag my name to the mud,” he added.
Similarly, the Chairman of ALGON, Delta State Chapter, Hon. Itiako Ikpokpo, has dismissed the story, describing it as a stupid allegation.
“Who is making that kind of stupid allegation? Did they see any money go from the councils to the Speaker’s account? Whether they write one million stories, it is not true. I try to run away from unnecessary allegations. First and foremost, I mean the councils are in a very difficult position. Even the reporter didn’t have the temerity to call me to confirm the allegation. Ask the said reporter, he has my three numbers but he didn’t reach me over the issue.” he said in Asaba
•Photo shows Delta Speaker Monday Igbuya.
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